Prescription Drug Take Back Day: How do you get rid of medicines?
April 29, 2022
Saturday, April 30th is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. To find a collection site near you, visit the DEA Take Back Collection Site Locator.
You might take prescription or over-the-counter medicines to help manage your health. But there may come a time when you no longer need to take these medicines or they have expired. An expired medicine is past its “use by” or “discard by” date. Medicine that has expired may not work as well and may no longer be safe to use. So don’t use or keep medicine that has expired or that you don’t need.
It’s important to get rid of old or unwanted medicines. This can help prevent other people or animals from using medicines that aren’t meant for them. A medicine can be helpful to the person it was prescribed for. But it can cause serious problems if it’s used by someone else or an animal.
How do you get rid of medicines?
Check the label on the medicine bottle or box or the information that came with your medicine. It may tell you how to get rid of the medicine safely. If it doesn’t, there are a few ways you can get rid of the medicines. If you have any questions about how to get rid of medicines, ask a pharmacist for help.
- Bring them to a medicine take-back program or drop-off box
- Find out if your local trash and recycle center, pharmacy, or hospital offers a medicine take-back program or a place to drop off medicine. These are two of the best ways to safely throw away medicines.
- Visit the DEA Take Back Collection Site Locator
If there isn’t a take-back program or drop-off box near you, follow these steps to throw away medicine with the rest of your garbage:
- Take the medicine out of the container it came in. You can throw that container away. But first scratch out any personal information printed on the label. This will help protect your identity and health information.
- Mix the medicine with a substance that doesn’t taste good, such as cat litter, sawdust, or coffee grounds. Don’t crush tablets or capsules.
- Place the mixture in some other container, such as a sealed plastic bag or can.
- Put that container in your household trash.
For more resources about disposing unneeded medications in your home or seeking substance abuse treatment, visit DEA Take Back Day.